William M Sanford – Pioneer

Roberts-Brown-2016 Research
Brown/Sanford Line

By Don Taylor

Map of places where William Sanford lived.My third great-grandfather, William M. Sanford was a pioneer. He is the first ancestor that I have encountered that was identified as a pioneer in two different books relating the history of two very different places. He came with his father and brother from New York to near Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan, in the 1830s to settle that area. Following his father’s model, he helped settle Wells County, North Dakota with two of his sons. Much like when his father settled Washtenaw County other family members also settled in North Dakota when he relocated there. He was a successful farmer in both locations and was known to have both cattle and sheep when he settled North Dakota.

Roberts-Brown 2016 – Ancestor #50

List of Grandparents

  • 6 – Grandfather: Richard Earl Brown (aka Clifford Durwood Brown, Richard Earl Durand)
  • 12 – 1st Great-grandfather: Arthur Durwood Brown
  • 25 – 2nd Great-grandmother: Marian Sanford
  • 50 – 3rd Great-grandfather: William M. Sanford

If you are descended from William M. Sanford or any of my other grandparents, please contact me.  I’d love to how you fit into the family and I’d love to share notes, documents, photos, etc. Please use the contact form below.

Biography – William M. Sanford (1823-1915)

William M. Sanford was born on 30 March 1823 in Genesee County, New York, the second of nine children of Ezra and Almira (Chamberlin) Sanford.

The year of William’s birth is somewhat in question. Assuming his birth was 30 March the following sources give the following ages and assumed year of birth:

Source Age Year of Birth
1850 Census[1] 27 1823
1860 Census 36 1824
1863 Civil War Registration 41 1822
1870 Census 46 1824
1880 Census 57 1823
1881 – History of Washtenaw Co…[2] 1823 (30 Mar)
1885 – No. Dak. Census 63 1822
1900 Census 76 1824 (Mar)
1910 Census
1915 – Death Certificate 92 1823 (30 Mar)

From all of these possible dates, none of them are compelling sources. Because the earliest record I have, the 1850 Census, suggests an 1823 birth year, I am going with that. That year is also confirmed by the History of Washtenaw County.

Rome City, Indiana CC BY-SA 3.0
Rome City, Indiana CC BY-SA 3.0

In 1836, when William was about 13 years old, William’s father, Ezra, his brother, Ezra, and he emigrated from and left his two New York to Michigan. They looked at several different counties, stopping in Calhoun County, but did not remain there long. They moved on to Noble County, Indiana, where Mr. Sanford bought lots near Rome City, Indiana (not to be confused with Rome, Indiana). The two boys (Ezra was about 19 old at the time) stayed in Indiana while Ezra senior returned to New York.  The following spring, Ezra (senior) purchased 200 acres on Section 21 in Washtenaw County, Michigan.[3]

Marriage and Children

On 18 June 1844, William married Mary Electa Parsons in Benton, Washtenaw County, Michigan.  William and Mary had seven children.[4]

  • Marion Sanford – born c. 1846. Marion married William Henry Brown about 1866; her death occurred sometime after 1885.
  • Unknown Sanford – born April 1850 and died before 1860.
  • Elva P Sanford – born c. 1852. She married William Wright on 27 April 1871; her death was sometime after 1929.
  • Almon C. Sanford – born in October 1855; he died 3 April 1922.
  • William A. Sanford – born c. 1858; his death was after 1880.
  • George P. Sanford – born 7 October 1865; died 5 October 1932.
  • Unknown Sanford – birth unknown; he or she died before 1881.

The 1850 Census shows the young couple with two children, one unnamed infant.  Living with them is J. W. Sanford, a 79-year-old farmer whose relationship is not known (by me).  Also living with them is 11-year-old Charles Sanford. Again, I do not have a clear idea who these two individuals are.[5]

From the 1860 Census, the family located to Aurora, Indiana.  Their fourth child Almon was born in Michigan in 1855, but their fifth child, William A, was born in Indiana about 1859. So, it appears that the family located to Indiana sometime between 1855 and 1959. In any event, the 1860 Census indicates the family consisted of William and Mary with four children, Mary (Marion), Elva, Elmon (Almon), and Willee (William).[6] (The unknown second child is not mentioned in the census.)

Map of Saline Village showing Sanford farm, 1874
Map of Saline Village showing Sanford farm, 1874

By 1863 the family had returned to Saline, Michigan, where William registered for the Civil War Draft. He was in “Class II,” which was everyone not in Class I.  (Class I were those aged 20-35 and those 36-45 and unmarried.) William indicated he was 41 and married making him Class II.[7]

By 1870, Marion had married William Henry Brown and was out of the house leaving Elva, Alma (Almon), Willie (William) and George. Also living with William and Mary were four-day laborers. James Roach, George Coats, Gabriel Reeves, and Wilson Hoag.[8]

According to the 1880 Census, living with William and Mary in Saline, Michigan are three of their boys. Uhnond (Almon), William, and George. Also living with them are two “Servants,” Henry Morris and Joseph Evans.[9]

North Dakota

In 1883, the family relocated again and moved west. William Sanford with his sons A.C. (Almon C) and George located to Section 6, in northwestern Sykeston Township. We know that other of his family members located to North Dakota about that time, including his daughters, Marion and Eva and his brother, C. A. Sanford who was the donor of the Sanford Dormitory at Jamestown College. William had a successful farm, which included the first herd of cattle in the county, a thrashing machine, pedigreed stallions, and a large flock of sheep.[10]

Area of Sanford Homestead, Section 6, Sykeston Twnsp, Wells Co., ND

Dakota Territory held a census in 1885.  That census showed William and Mary living with their two sons, A.C. (Almon) and George. Also, living with them were two servants, George Huber and John Sager.  It is interesting to note that William’s daughter, Elva, and her husband William Wright, show on the same Census page.[11]

In 1888, after 43 years of marriage, William’s wife, Mary, died.[12]

Five years later, in 1893, married Harriet Kent a 59-year-old widow.[13] It appears that she died before 1900, because in the 1900 Census, the widower William is living with his son George (and George’s wife and son) in Township 146, Wells County, North Dakota.[14]

William married once again, on 26 February 1901, this time to Phila Geer Frisby.[15]

Death

Sanford Marker at Lake View Cemetery, Cathay, North Dakota
Sanford Marker – Photo by Cemetery Scavenger via Find a Grave; used by permission.

William died on 5 June 1915 in Charlotte, Michigan, at the age of 92. His death was preceded by a fall where he broke his hip. He was then removed to Cathay, Wells County, North Dakota for burial.[16]  William was buried with his first wife, Mary Electa (Parsons) Sanford at Lake View Cemetery, in Cathay, ND.[17]

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Follow-up on lives of all of William’s children.
  • Continue research on William.

Contact

Once again, if you are descended from William M. Sanford please let me know how you are connected. I’d love to hear from you.

———– DISCLAIMER ———–

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ENDNOTES

  • [1] Family Search; 1850 Census; (William Sanford) Michigan, Washtenaw, Saline, Sheet 737, Line 41 & following sheet.
  • [2] Google Books; History of Washtenaw County.  Michigan:  Together with Sketches of Its Cities, Villages, and Townships…. 1881. http://books.google.com/books?id=2z0XAQAAMAAJ.
  • [3] Google Books; History of Washtenaw County.  Michigan:  Together with Sketches of Its Cities, Villages, and Townships…. 1881. http://books.google.com/books?id=2z0XAQAAMAAJ. Page 1409.
  • [4] Ibid.
  • [5] Family Search; 1850 Census; (William Sanford) Michigan, Washtenaw, Saline, Sheet 737, Line 41 and following sheet.
  • [6] Family Search; 1860 Census; (William Sanford) Indiana, Dearborn, Aurora Center, Image 424.
  • [7] Ancestry.Com; U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865; William Sanford.
  • [8] Family Search; 1870 Census; (William Sanford) Michigan, Washtenaw County, Saline, Page 17, Line 22.
  • [9] Family Search; 1880 Census; (William Sanford) Michigan, Washtenaw, Saline, ED 237, Page 22 B, Line 16
  • [10] Spokesfield, Walter E.; The History of WELLS COUNTY NORTH DAKOTA AND ITS PIONEERS:  With a Sketch of North Dakota History and the Origin [sic] of the place names.  Valley City, N. D.:  Publisher: Not Identified, Published in 1929.
  • [11]  North Dakota State University; 1885 Census Index – Dakota Territory – (Wm Sanford) Page 35W-005; https://library.ndsu.edu/db/census/family?ed=35W-005-27
  • [12] Find a Grave – Mary E Sanford – Memorial# 142980426.
  • [13] Family Search; Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925; William Sanford – Harriet Kent.
  • [14] Family Search; 1900 Census; (George Sanford) – North Dakota, Wells, Township 146, Range 69, ED 212, Sheet 12A
  • [15] Family Search; Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925; William Sanford & Phila Geer Frisby
  • [16] Seeking Michigan; Michigan Death Certificate – William Sanford – Michigan, Eaton County, Charlotte.
  • [17] Find a Grave – William Sanford – Memorial# 142980536

One resource you probably aren’t using enough.

My Tappen, ND Connection

By Don Taylor
There is one resource I know that I don’t use enough, WorldCat. Every time I do use it I am amazed at the wonderful information I can find out about my ancestors.

WorldCat is the world’s largest network of library content and services. It itemizes the collections of 72,000 libraries that participate in the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) global cooperative.

Last Fall I was researching my maternal grandfather’s youth. His father, Arthur Durwood Brown, located with his parents and siblings from Saline Michigan to North Dakota in the early 1880s.  From there Arthur and his siblings disburses through the area.  Arthur settled near Robinson, ND. His brother, Clifford Gerome Brown, settled near Tappen, ND, about 25 miles away. My grandfather, Dick, was originally born Clifford, apparently named after his uncle Clifford.  I also had been in contact with a third cousin, whose great grandfather was Clifford.

 

Delilah Brown c. 1924
Zona Brown c. 1924
Ellwyn Brown c. 1924
Photos cropped from: Tappen, 1878-1966: eighty-eight years of progress.
Pages 388, 390, and 389 respectively
North Dakota became a state in 1889, so folks that settled there before 1889 are often thought of as pioneers. With that in mind, I wondered if there were any books regarding Tappen, ND.
A Google search of: Tappen AND “North Dakota” AND History yield over 365,000 returns. Way too much to even think about. I searched just Google Books and received over 3000 returns. Still, too many things to look at. Then I thought of WorldCat. A quick search on WorldCat for the keywords, “North Dakota” and “Tappen” in the title –Twenty-seven results.  Much more manageable. Several of the results were clearly not of interest to me, however, several other books clearly were potentially interesting.
One of the many nice things about using WorldCat is that it shows if the book you are looking for might be available locally.  That is really good.  Also, if not, it provides all of the information you will need to request the book through an interlibrary loan. Finally, WorldCat also provides citation information in 5 different formats.  (I use Chicago but many people I know use APA or Harvard.)
Clifford Gerome and Louella Lillian (Bean) Brown
Source: Tappen, 1878-1966: eighty-eight years of progress.
1966. [Place of publication not identified]: [publisher not
identified]. Page 237
I decided to order Tappen, 1878-1966: eighty-eight years of progress through interlibrary load.  Sure enough, a few weeks later it arrived.  With the Christmas season my focus directed elsewhere, I pursued the book, saw quite a few things that were of interest.  I didn’t have time to deal with it then, so I just jotted down the page number of pages that were of interest, then I photographed those pages with my iPad for further investigation.
The files languished for nearly six months, but I finally got back to them.  Very interesting filler information for Clifford Gerome Brown and his family. A photo of Clifford and his wife, Louella.  Photos of various classes during the 1924 school year showing most of Clifford and Louella’s children. All images that I never had before; there were photos of the schools and churches they attended.An amazing amount of background information.
The process I recommend is:

1. Search WorldCat.org using advanced Search

Under Keywords enter state and history, such as:  “North Dakota” History

Under Title enter the city/town/county of interest.

2. Select a book that is of interest.
3. Check/search Google Books and/or Google for the book.
4a. If available for free through Google books, review the book there.
4b. If available from a local library, review the book there.
4c. If not available electronically or locally, order through Interlibrary loan via you library.  Use the information from WorldCat to request the book.

Certainly WorldCat.org is a resource I don’t use often enough and it is one I should use more. I’ll bet you’re like me and should use it more, too.

———- DISCLAIMER ———-

 

Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown (1878-1983)

Ancestor Sketch – Brown Line
By – Don Taylor

We know that often as a person ages their birth date changes. Women often get younger during their adult years and then get older in their later years.  Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown was just such a woman. Various records indicate that Mary was born everywhere from 1876 to 1880, but I’ve settled on 1878 as the correct year of her birth.

Birth
Year
Year
Source
1878
1880
Census
1878
1900
Census
1877
1910
Census
1880
1920
Census
1877
1930
Census
1877
1940
Census
1878
1965
Social Security Death Index
1876
1983
MN
Death Index
1876
1983
Marker
1876
c.
1984
Notes
of Mary’s daughter, Victoria Quelland
1878
2001
Notes
from Mary’s minister, Les Crider
1876
2005
Letter
from Mary’s daughter, Delores Pribbenow
The 1880 Census is probably the most accurate; it is the only document I have found where the data was provided by someone who was at her birth (presumably one of her parents). Her Social Security application corroborates this date.  None of the records before 1966 indicate her birth year as 1876, the year in which she celebrated her 90th birthday.
Going through all of the birthdates for an individual is essential. When there is a discrepancy in dates, it is important to analyze all of the dates and determine which is likely the most accurate.

Ancestor Sketch – Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown (1878-1983)

Childhood

Mary Elizabeth Manning was born on April 17, 1878, the
oldest child of John William and Elisa Jane (Fannin) Manning in rural Kentucky. One source indicates she was born in Kernsville, Carter County, however, I haven’t been able to find a Kernsville in Kentucky.
The 1880 Census shows Mary living with her parents near Pine Grove, Rowan County, Kentucky. Her sister, Phoebe, was born in January 1881.
Again, I’m not certain where, but probably either Carter County or Rowan County. Mary’s father, John, did have another child, Robert Manning, with another (name unknown) woman. Robert was 9 years older than Mary was.
I need to do much more research in this area. In December 1882, Mary’s mother, Eliza, died. Oral history indicates that she died in childbirth.
There is a lot of confusion about what happened to Robert, Mary, and Phoebe after their mother died. One storyline is that Mary & Phoebe lived with their aunt & uncle, Thomas & Mary Jones.  Another storyline is that they lived for a time with their aunt & uncle, Joe & Sarah Bryant. I know for sure that they also lived with their grandparents, Enoch and Minerva Manning in Holding, Stearns County, Minnesota in 1885[1].  We know that the three children’s father also died when they were young. Family history says he was poisoned so someone could steal money from him. One researcher indicated that John William died in 1888.  If he died so much later, then it wouldn’t make as much sense as to why the three children were living with their grandparents in June 1885.
In 1888, Enoch moved to Cass County, Minnesota. It is unclear if that is when the children went to live with the Joneses, the Bryants or stayed with Enoch.

The Child Bearing Years

Arthur and Mary (Manning) Brown

Family oral history says that Enoch was a harsh man, so it is easy to understand why young Mary wanted to get away from him. According to Les Crider’s records, Mary married Arthur Durwood Brown on 19 October 1892, when she was but 14 years old. Both the 1900 and 1910 Censuses confirm this marriage year. Most of the next thirty years of her life she spent pregnant or nursing.

First was Clyde Leroy who was born 1894 in Sylvan Township, Cass County, Minnesota.
Then the young couple moved to North Dakota. I recall Mary
telling me that they traveled to North Dakota by oxen and wagon.  I don’t know if it was this time or one of the other times they moved as they switched between North Dakota and Minnesota several times.
Victoria Cecelia was their first child born in North Dakota;
she was born in 1896.
They moved back to Minnesota where Clarence Arthur was born
in 1897.
The 1900 Census indicates that Mary had had four children,
three of whom were living.  That child was named Martin and was probably born in 1899 and died before 1 June 1900[2].  Other records indicate he died of measles.
Cora Elsie was born in Pequot Lakes, Crow Wing, Minnesota,
in 1901.
My grandfather, Clifford Durwood Brown, was born in Robinson,
Kidder County, ND, in 1903, three days before the famous flight of the Wright Brothers.
Dorothy was born between 1905 and 1907. She also died of measles, apparently before 1910.
Edward Lewis was born in North Dakota in July 1908.
Arthur Eugene was born in North Dakota in 1909.
Charles William was the last of the children born in North
Dakota in 1914.
The family moved back to Minnesota where Delores Sarah was
born in Sylvan Township in 1917 and Nettie Mae Viola born in Pillager in 1921.

The Middle Years

In 1928, Mary’s husband of 36 years died. Mary was 50 years
old when Arthur died.  Who would have guessed that Mary hadn’t lived half of her life at that point?
The 1930 Census shows Mary living with her three youngest
children in Fairview, Cass County, Minnesota. Nearby is her son Edward with his new wife Mary[3].
Cora, Nettie, Delores, Arthur, and Clarence were all married
in the ensuing ten years and began having many children, Grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were being born frequently. Her son, Clifford had a child out of wedlock. He illegally took custody of the child and brought her to Minnesota to be raised by his mother and himself. He was arrested and went to prison in Illinois for child-napping. When he got out of prison, he changed his name to Richard Earl Durand. Some years later Richard would return to Minnesota and change his name once again, this time to Richard (Dick) Earl Brown.
The 1940 Census shows Mary living as hired help in May
Township with Isaac Reynolds. Isaac was the local postmaster[4].

The Motley Years

Five Generation Photo
Mary Brown, Clyde Brown, Granddaughter Marie, great-granddaughter Yvonne (on far right), & GG Granddaughter Yvonne (on Mary’s lap) – Dec 1961

Shortly afterward (before 1943), Mary moved to Motley and
lived a very quiet life.  Apparently, also in the 1940s her son Dick came to live in the same house. In September 1961, she became a great-great-grandmother with the birth of Yvonne Marie [living].

 I remember visiting Grandpa Dick and “Ma Brown” many times in the late 1950s and 1960s. On one occasion, Grandpa Dick had just bought a new $50 clunker automobile.  Mary was upset with him spending money on the car and admonished the universe with a quote I will forever remember.  “Those crazy kids and their motor cars – cars, cars, cars, that all they think about.” She was calling my grandfather a “crazy kid.”  He was about 58 at the time and still a kid. It is all about perspective. He may have been in his late 50s but she was in her mid-80s at the time, and from her perspective, he was a kid.
Ma Brown was a fantastic cook. She had separate cast iron pans for fowl, beef, and venison. She made an amazing rhubarb sauce. We just called it “sauce” and everyone knew which sauce we meant.  I always think of her when I see strawberry rhubarb pie because none I’ve ever eaten since compare to her pies.  I have a pencil sharpener on my desk that looks like a hand water pump.  It reminds me every day about Ma Brown and her life in Motley.  In her kitchen was a hand pump, their only source of water until into the mid-1960s. They had an outhouse that was a cool visit in November and December. We never visited in January, so I can only imagine – an outhouse – January – Minnesota – Burrrr.  Alongside the Motley house Mary kept a huge garden – probably most of a house lot in size. She maintained it well into her late 80s, perhaps into her 90s.

Mary’s later years

Sadly, I think the last time I saw Mary was in 1965 or so.  As a teenager, I didn’t have the inclination to visit “up north.” I went into the service in 1969 and didn’t see Mary at all during the ensuing years, although I did visit Grandpa Dick a few times in the 1970s, but he was in Motley and Mary was at the Bethany Good Samaritan Center in Brainerd.  Not visiting her in Brainerd is something I regret not having done.
In 1976, Mary Elizabeth Brown celebrated her 100th birthday.  I believe it was a couple of years premature, but that is okay.  Her celebrations continued for another seven years. She died on 8 May 1983 at the
age of 105 at the Bethany Home in Brainerd, Minnesota.
Mary E. Brown
1876 Mother 1983
She is buried at Gull River Cemetery, Pillager, Minnesota,
near her husband Arthur who died fifty-five years earlier.

Conclusion

Mary had an amazing life. She was orphaned young; she was married young. She had 13 children and raised 10 of them to adulthood. She lived a life without conveniences, not getting indoor plumbing until the 1960s.
She was very active in her church. In her Motley years, she cooked and canned from her garden and prepared the game her son brought home.
There are many of Mary’s grandchildren still alive.  I would love it if they, their children, or anyone with first-hand memories of Mary, would use the comments below to add to the stories of their experiences with Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown.

List of Greats

1.    Mary Elizabeth Manning [Brown] (1878-1983)
2.   John William Manning (1846-c.1888)
3.   Enoch Mannin (1823-1907)
4.  Meridith  Mannin (1802-1885)
5.   John Bosel Mannin Sr. (b. 1776 in Virginia)
6.   Samuel Mannin  (b. abt 1756)
7.   Meredith Mannin (b. Abt. 1720)

 


ENDNOTES
[1] 1885 Minnesota, Territorial, and State Census, Ancestry.com1885 – Holding, Stearns County, Minn – Page 3 (Post Office: Saint Anna).

[2] 1900 Census, Ancestry.com, 1900; Census Place: Township 136, Crow Wing, Minnesota; Roll: 761; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0069; FHL microfilm: 1240761.

[3] The United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626,), Year: 1930; Census Place: Fairview, Cass, Minnesota.
[4] 1940 Census, Ancestry.com, Year: 1940; Census Place: May, Cass, Minnesota; Roll: T627_1912; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 11-33.

100 Years Ago – Arthur Durwood & Mary Elizabeth (Manning) BROWN



100 Years ago – Arthur Durwood Brown (1869-1928) & Mary
Elizabeth Manning (1876-1983)

Arthur Durwood & Mary Elizabeth Brown

One hundred years ago, Arthur Durwood Brown was renting a home with his wife, Mary Elizabeth Manning Brown in Merkel Township, Kidder County, North Dakota.

Their household contained six of their children; Victoria Cecelia, Cora Elsie, Clifford Durwood, Edward Lewis, Arthur Eugene, and the baby, Charles William, who had been born in July. Two of their boys, twenty-year-old Clyde Leroy and seventeen year old Clarence Arthur had already left home. Three of their children had already died. One child whose name is unknown was born and died before 1900. Two more children, Martin and Dorothy, died as infants from the measles sometime before 1910.

Location of land patent for 120 acres.
Arthur received a land patent for 120 acres N1/2-NW1/4 & SW1/4-NW1/4 – Section 34, Township 144 North Rang 72 West of the 5th Principal Meridian. The 45-year-old Arthur and his 38-year-old wife, Mary, must have been working that land. It is unclear if he was working someone else’s land as a “farm laborer” as well.

The big news of the day was that President Wilson was preparing to visit the Panama Canal. The Canal officially opened in August, however, Wilson was going to go by ship, the steamship New York to Colon and then shift to the Oregon to traverse the Canal.[1] In addition, the twelve Federal Reserve Banks opened their doors[2]. The Federal Reserve Banks would change the way America banks.



Wrigley’s was advertising its new, launched in 1914, Doublemint Gum, which had double the flavor and was double wrapped.

The International news of the day related mostly to the War. Blizzards were sweeping over Belgium and Northern France paralyzing the war effort there. Meanwhile, on the Eastern front, Cracow in Galicia (today Poland) was burning.

Mary’s parents both died when she was a child. Arthur’s parents had come to North Dakota in the 1880s but nothing is seen from them after 1885, so it is presumed they had died long before 1914.

Arthur’s siblings were:

Nettie May – Life and location unknown.
Charles D – Life unknown. Charles moved to Montana before 1891.
Mary – Life unknown. Mary had married a Clark and their location is unknown.
Almond (Ahmond) – Life unknown.
Clifford Gerome – Living in Tappen Township, Kidder County, North Dakota
William Henry – Life and location unknown.
Clyde Hewett – Died in a train accident.
Frederick – Dead – Unknown cause.
Ada –Ada married Benjamin Mayers (or Meyers) their life and location is unknown. 
Edward Warberton was married to Dertha Merkel and lived in Merkel Township, Kidder County, North Dakota, USA.

Mary’s sister Phoebe Jane’s first husband Clyde Hewett Brown (Arthur’s brother) died and Phoebe had remarried. She and her new husband, William Richmond, lived in Sylvan Township, Cass County, Minnesota. Arthur and Mary would locate to Sylvan Township a few years later. Mary’s half brother’s (Robert Manning) location is unknown.

The Browns were Methodists and probably attended church in Robinson, about eight miles away. Likewise, the children most likely attended school there.

The 1910 Census indicates that nearby Arthur and Mary Brown lived the Merkels. I wonder if Merkel Township was named after John Merkel. John Merkel was the head of the household and had seven of his children living with him. One of those seven was Dertha whose husband, Edd Brown (Arthur’s youngest brother) was a “hired hand.” Also living with them were five of Edd and Dertha’s children making for a 15 person household.[3]

Life was certainly tough out on the plains and with winter coming on preparations for the winter must have been completed.

Further Actions

In writing about Arthur and Mary’s life 100 years ago I realized how little I know about their siblings. Tracing their will be an important next step in understanding the life of Arthur & Mary.

  

[1] Bismarck
daily tribune. (Bismarck, Dakota [N.D.]), 17 Nov. 1914. Chronicling America:
Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.
<http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042242/1914-11-17/ed-1/seq-1/>
[2] Ibid.
[3] 1910 Census, Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com,
1910; Census Place: Merkel, Kidder, North
Dakota; Roll: T624_1142; Page: 4A; Enumeration
District: 0225; FHL microfilm: 1375155.

Arthur Durwood Brown (1869-1928)

Brown Line
By – Don Taylor

52 Ancestors - Week 41
No Story Too Small

Sometimes you have an ancestor for whom you know there are a lot more stories about them. Arthur Durwood Brown was such a man. There are several of Arthur’s grandchildren still alive. I hope that some of them contact me with additional stories and information about Arthur and his life. He was a remarkable man, a pioneer who settled in some of the most isolated places in North Dakota and Minnesota.

Ancestor Sketch – Arthur Durwood Brown (1869-1928)

Arthur Durwood Brown was born on 5 December 1869 in Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan. He was the second child of eleven children born to Henry and Marion Sanford Brown. There are many conflicting records regarding Arthur’s birth year. The 1920 Census indicates he was 56 years old and thus born in 1863. On the other end of the spectrum, the 1900 Census says he was born in December of 1870.[1] His death certificate and his grave marker both indicate he was born in 1868. I am quite certain that he was born in December of 1869 because of the 1870 Census that clearly indicates that he was seven months old when the census was taken on 2 August of 1870.[2]

Photo Crop of Arthur Durwood Brown
Arthur Durwood Brown

He grew up in Saline, which is a small community about ten miles south of Ann Arbor. It was on the Detroit, Hillsdale, & Indiana Railroad line that came to Saline in 1970. About 1883, when Arthur was 14 years old, the entire family migrated west to Jamestown, North Dakota. Arthur’s youngest brother, Edward, was born in North Dakota in January 1884.[3]

Jamestown was an up and coming new town. It was founded in 1872 and incorporated as a city in 1883.[4] It is not clear to me how or where he and Mary Elizabeth Manning met nor where they were married, but all records indicate they married on 19 Oct 1892. Arthur would have been 22 years old and Mary just 16.

Photo of Arthur Durwood Brown in a hat.
Arthur Durwood Brown

Either before he moved to Minnesota or shortly after the marriage they moved to Minnesota. In either event, they established residence in Sylvan Township, Cass County, Minnesota and had their first child, Clyde Leroy, in February 1884. By June 1896, they had moved back to North Dakota where Victoria was born. Moreover, by 1897, when Clarence was born, they returned to Minnesota. The 1900 Census reports that the young couple lost a child[5]. Based upon the four-year gap in children, the child probably was born and died between 1899 and 1900 in Minnesota. We do not know the child’s name or sex.

Based upon the birthplaces of the children, the family seemed to move back and forth between North Dakota and Minnesota many times.

Name
Year
Location
Clyde
1894
Minnesota
Victoria
1896
North Dakota
Clarence
1897
Minnesota
Cora
1901
Minnesota
Clifford/Richard
1903
North Dakota
Edward
1908
North Dakota
Arthur
1909
North Dakota
Charles
1914
North Dakota
Delores
1917
Minnesota
Nettie
1921
Minnesota
Children whose birthplace was unknown were omitted.

Clifford, my grandfather, was born in 1903 in Kidder County, North Dakota. Martin was born sometime between 1904 and 1906 and Dorothy was born between 1905 and 1907. Sadly, Arthur’s two youngest children at that time, Martin and Dorothy, died from measles sometime before 1910.

In 1909, Arthur received a Land Patent for 120 acres in Merkel, Kidder County, North Dakota. It was for the N1/2-NW1/4 and the SW1/4-NW1/4 – Section 34, Township 144 North Range 72. It is interesting to note that Arthur’s brother Edward married Dertha Merkel. Today, Merkel township has a population of 39 people scattered over nearly 60 square miles of land.[6]

In 1917, he returned to Minnesota where Arthur received a land patent for 160 acres in Township 138 N, Range 029W, Section 7, NE1/4-Nw1/4, N1/2-NE1/4, SE1/4-NE1/4. (Modern GPS 46.7911918, -94.4073918 is NW Corner of L shaped property.) Today this is a very rural area of Backus in Cass County.

Arthur’s two oldest boys served in World War 1. Clyde went into the Army, went to France, where he met his wife Yvonne and returned from the Great War with his new bride. Clarence went into the Navy and served aboard the USS Shawmut, a mine layer that operated in the North Sea during much of World War I.[7] The 47-year-old Arthur didn’t serve in The Great War staying in Minnesota; his daughter, Delores was born in 1917. His last child, Nettie, was born in 1921[8] a year after his first grandchild, Marie (Clyde’s daughter), was born.[9]

Marker - Arthur Durwood Brown
Marker:  ARTHUR D. BROWN 1868 FATHER 1928 (Photo by Mark Matson)

Arthur died on 27 August 1928, at the Walker Hospital, Walker, Cass Co., Minnesota of carcinoma of the liver.[10] He was 58 years old. He was buried at Gull River Cemetery, in Pillager, Cass County, Minnesota.[11]

On FamilySearch.Org, Arthur is person #934W-2TJ.

Further Actions:

  • Coordinate with relatives what I have for accuracy.
  • Find out if there are any stories regarding how and where Arthur and Mary met.

List of Greats

Arthur Durwood Brown
Henry Brown
Benjamin Brown

– – – – – – – – – – – – – Disclaimer – – – – – – – – – – – –

Bus

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Footnotes

[1] 1900 Census, Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, 1900; Census Place: Township 136, Crow Wing, Minnesota; Roll: 761; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0069; FHL microfilm: 1240761.

[2] 1870 Census, Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, 1870; Census Place: Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan; Roll: M593_708; Page: 316A; Image: 86; Family History Library Film: 552207. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1870usfedcen&h=27532996&indiv=try.

[3] 1885 Census – Dakota Territory, NDSU Archives, Page 44-018. Brown, W. H., et al. http://library.ndsu.edu/db/census/family?ed=44-018-10.

[4] Wikipedia — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamestown,_North_Dakota

[5] 1900 Census, Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, 1900; Census Place: Township 136, Crow Wing, Minnesota; Roll: 761; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0069; FHL microfilm: 1240761.

[6] City-Data.Com — http://www.city-data.com/township/Merkel-Kidder-ND.html

[7] Wikipedia — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Oglala_(CM-4)

[8] E-Mail from Les Crider – 2001-01-13, Art & Mary Brown & Children & parents info.

[9] Find a Grave, digital images (http://www.findagrave.com), Marie F Brown – Memorial 79865796.

[10] Minnesota, Division of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death, Arthur D Brown.; Minnesota Historical Society.

[11] Find a Grave, digital images (http://www.findagrave.com), Arthur D Brown – Memorial # 87334615.